Obi criticizes courts for favoritism and procurement over justice and law

… wants Nigerians to voice out

Obi (m) during the press conference 

Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25, 2023 general elections, Mr. Peter Obi, has challenged Nigerians not to be silent but to voice out and ask questions about why our courts are turning into courts of favor and procurement rather than courts of justice and law.

Obi who fielded questions from a cross-section of the media in his Abuja office on Monday night, Nov 20, 2023, to mark the centenary celebration of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), said the situation is worrisome and the IPAC, civil society groups, and indeed, Nigerians, should be consistent in their challenge for good governance.

"We now have a situation, where known card-carrying members of political parties, who were even involved in thuggery, are being appointed to be a referee in our coming elections."

The LP presidential candidate, in a press release signed by his personal assistant on media, Michael Jude Nwolisa, challenged IPAC, civil society, and the people to resist anything that tends to undermine democracy and good governance of the people, adding though that they must be civil about it and act within the law.

According to Obi, "IPAC should question why 90% of our elections end up in courts with huge resources that should be channeled to the people's welfare being used for litigations

“They should voice out where our courts have become courts of favor, courts of procurement rather than courts of justice and the law."

He listed the three recent contradictory gubernatorial election cases involving three state governors of the opposition parties.

“Look at what is happening in Zamfara, Kano and Plateau and others states. My party is not in any of them but we are all affected by injustice, my concern is to do what is right.

"Look at the election that happened recently in Kogi and others, nobody is talking about those who were killed. We do not talk about such ugly situations as killings, or maiming because human lives no longer mean anything to us in this country.

"Everybody is watching something we know was wrong. That is why IPAC and civil society should voice out in defense of democracy and good governance.

“I have said it before, it’s not about who will benefit today or tomorrow. I have said it before, nobody is buying fuel cheaper, nobody is buying food cheaper because he belongs to the ruling party."

On his advice to IPAC members vis a viz their role in the contemporary political matters, Obi said, "My advice is that the parties must come together and work for the people in defense of democracy and good governance,” adding, “you can see today that there is a gradual erosion of the tenets of democracy".

IPAC, he said, must rescue the situation and ensure that the resources are properly channeled for the people's welfare.

"Our political compass is headed in the wrong direction so there is a need for the parties to come together to be able to rescue the situation,” he said.

The LP standard bearer also advised Nigerians to take the issue of governance very seriously. “We need to ensure that only those who are competent, who have capacity, who have integrity can serve faithfully, and use the resources of the nation for effective production are allowed to hold positions,” he said.

On the need for cooperation among political parties, Obi said, "You are talking about coming together for election purposes but that’s not what I’m talking about. I am talking about coming together for good governance and making sure that the people are well governed. 

He explained that the difference is that when coming together is for election purposes, it’s self-serving and often transactional but if it’s for good governance, we can all come together.

On the recent position of former President Olusegun Obasanjo on democracy, Obi said the former president's position should not be misconstrued, stressing that he is worried, like every patriotic person, the way our democracy is going and is boldly in his usual way offering solutions.

"For example, if you look at democracy in America, where we even copied the presidential system, there are so many things that we have abandoned. In the US Office of the First Lady only exists in name, merely for domestic purposes, not for a bogus budget that should be deployed in critical areas for development.

"In America, if the president chooses to entertain people you pay for the food. If he chooses to have different dishes you pay for it so you can order fish from Japan at your own expense. You don’t have renovations of different houses for the president with public funds when the people are dying of basic things such as food and health care.

“These are the issues. We have to look at what suits us and how we can manage our resources, expenses, and everything. That is what Obasanjo is saying…that we adopt what suits us.”

On the 2027 presidential election, Obi admonished journalists to stop asking questions about another election when the country is in a critical situation.

"My dear, let’s not talk about election. We have critical problems happening now. We should all come together, even you as a journalist should look beyond the elections. People are dying of hunger and you are talking of election. I have said repeatedly that Peter Obi is not desperate to be Nigerian president but is desperate to see Nigeria work, especially for the poor. Your children are suffering and you are talking of an election that is four years away.

“I am begging you, let’s talk about how to save this country, if the country is working I mustn’t be president. Let the country work first."

On how his supporters should react to the past election, Obi said "they should not relent, they should continue to voice their opposition out. It shouldn’t be a one-off thing, they have to be consistent. I am not saying they should go and start destroying things, they must remain civil but consistently say NO to bad governance.”

On how IPAC can do better and live up to expectations to help create the democracy of our dream, the LP standard bearer said "IPAC should go beyond being transactional and be effective in opposing bad governance. That’s their role and that was why they were formed - to say No when things are going wrong. And everybody can see today that things are going wrong in our country."

On the issue of restructuring, Obi said, "We need to talk. Our compass is headed in the wrong direction and we need to show the correct direction. And if we don’t do anything, it will consume everybody, and we can bequeath anarchy to our children . Some people will think today that they are benefiting in a situation where we have a looming crisis and we are playing about it. We have been warned that we are going to face hunger next year, but we are using almost 100% of our revenue to service debts and nobody can say how we piled the debts and what we used it for. 

"In a place where we are told we are bankrupt, we have been behaving like people in affluence. Bankrupt people should eliminate all expenditures that are not critical for development.

“But we are still going ahead living a life that is beyond our resources. All these are things to look into - whether this Presidential system suits us or whether we should jettison it and return to parliamentary but we need to talk.”

Share on Google Plus

About Newsmart


Post a Comment